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BBC Music Magazine
1 juin 2010
History remembers Carissimi's Jephte as a landmark in the evolution of oratorio. but as Les Voix Baroques' latest disc insists, it was no flash in the pan. Certainly
the piece takes pride of place, what with the Monteverdi-worthy battle scenes, the searing anguish of the exchanges between Jephte and his daughter, and the concluding choral lamentamini. But then there's Jonas, which includes a vividly painted storm, Ezechiais an appealing work narrated by a duo of decidedly
engaging angels - and containing a fine lament (something of a Carissimi speciality) - while Job distils Carissimi's genius for simple, emotionally direct Old
Testament 'newscasting' into a three-way dialogue.
Les Voix Baroques (and their expert instrumental partners) are exemplary storytellers, naturally expressive, never inclined to press too hard on the music,
but never selling its fastidiously calculated eloquence short. The scale of the performances is spot-on; their cumulative heart-felt sincerity compelling.
Paul Riley - BBC Music Magazine
26 mars 2010
Un bijou baroque: un CD de quatre oratorios de Carissimi sur les histoires de Jonas, Jephté, Ezéchias et Job. Nous sommes là dans un registre plus éloquent que «végétarien». Les Voix Baroques, menées par Matthew White et Alexander Weimann, éclairent avec vigueur cette musique post-monteverdienne.
Christophe Huss - Le Devoir
The Toronto Star
16 mars 2010
Many of his scores have been lost, so it’s hard to tell that Roman Giacomo Carissimi was one of the most celebrated composers of his day (1605-1674). But thanks to brilliant recordings such as this one by Montreal’s Les voix baroques, led by countertenor Matthew White and conductor Alexander Weimann, that is likely to change. Here are four oratorio-like “sacred stories” (Jonas, Jephte, Ezechia and Job) gorgeously played and sung. The music is expertly matched to the Old Testament texts’ drama, and sensitively sung by singers including soprano Suzie LeBlanc and tenor Lawrence Wiliford. The booklet includes the texts.
John Terauds - The Toronto Star
The Globe and Mail
16 mars 2010
The members of Les Voix Baroques – including countertenor Matthew White, sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Catherine Webster, tenor Colin Balzer, and baritone Tyler Duncan – are among this country’s best early-music singers, and the vocal solos of the four mid-17th century Latin oratorios recorded here are exquisitely sung. But the choruses, particularly the laments at the emotional core of Carissimi’s subtly dramatic settings of Old Testament stories, are finer still. Harmonic progressions open like flowers in slow-motion photography; pungent dissonances, perfectly tuned, arch and resolve. One also relishes the delicacy of instrumental entries and an elegant continuity within each piece.
Elissa Poole - The Globe and Mail